Hidden talents behind the classroom door

Teachers spend their days educating their students and leading classrooms, but for some there’s more than meets the eye. What lies beneath the surface of some of your favorite educators is a world of hidden talents.

Most students probably don’t know that Social Studies teacher Sheila O’Farrell can balance a broom on her nose. It started when she was a little girl playing around in her room. 

“I was sweeping the floor and started to daydream and play with the broom, and that’s how I realized that I can balance a broom on my finger,” O’Farrell said. “I thought ‘well let me try it on my middle finger, let me try it on my pinky, and on my nose.’ Over the years every time I get a broom I just start to balance it.” 

Math teacher Tarrence Holmes can often be found singing “Happy Birthday” to his students or just getting their attention by singing – and he’s good at it. Holmes discovered this talent when his grandmother took him to sing in the church choir at 7 years old. Throughout his time at school, he performed in concerts, local choirs and was the lead vocalist in several organizations. He’s also performed in plays including “Cinderella,” and even had the opportunity to play Mr. Warbucks in the production of “Annie.” 

“I love to sing and spread the joy of music through song,” Holmes said. “Anyone who sings with me knows that they must ‘find their note.’ I am a 3-to-4-part harmony fanatic.” 

But Holmes is not the only teacher at Krop who has a flair for music. Visual Arts teacher Crystal Garcia and Special Education teacher/Cheer sponsor Sierra Jackson have both taken a liking to singing throughout their lives. 

“I was always singing to myself and very shy,” Garcia said. “But I did karaoke in my 20s and that was the first time I sang in front of a group of people. I love singing rock songs, especially from the band Journey as I can hit all the high notes.”

Like Holmes, Jackson began singing as a child in her church choir, and she kept practicing her talent in high school as a musical theater student.

“Now I’m back to only singing at church where the rest of the Praise team and I open up every service on Sundays,” Jackson said. “The choir I’m in sings a few times per month.”

From musical voices to musical instruments, AP Art teacher Julie Shaker is a pro when it comes to playing the jaw harp. The instrument has origins in both Thailand and Russia, so there are two varieties of it available to play.

“I play both types of jaw harps,” Shakher said. “I ran across one around five years ago and I liked the sound and have played it ever since.”

AP French teacher Georges Lesperance and his wife share a special talent, the pair often compete in dance competitions and participate in a multitude of different dance styles.

“We were at a hotel and we heard there was a dance competition,” Lesperance said. “We won first place and since then we enter some from time to time. We dance salsa, reggae, changa, Haitian kompa, and more.”

Despite what your initial thoughts may be, teachers’ talents can go far beyond the subjects they teach.